Posted on May 19, 2020 in Senior Health
Never has it been so vital to keep your home clean and germ-free, especially for seniors.
The World Health Organization reports that the two groups most at risk of dying from COVID-19 are anyone aged 65+ and all those with serious pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.
The Centers for Disease Control urges seniors to be extra careful and stay home as they’re far more likely to die if they contract coronavirus. The virus affects people in different ways. While most people will develop mild to moderate symptoms, individuals over 65 are at heightened risk.
Since symptoms of COVID-19 can hit the elderly particularly hard, seniors need to minimize their chance of infection. This can be achieved by staying home and limiting interaction with others. Seniors should also regularly wash their hands after contact with anyone else and frequently sanitize their homes.
According to the World Health Organization, it’s not clear whether coronavirus can be transmitted from surfaces to the body. Given that the virus could be transmitted in this way, it pays to take extra precautions. If someone touches a surface splattered with fresh droplets from an infected person coughing or sneezing, they can become infected with COVID-19 after touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.
Research has shown that coronaviruses can live on non-porous surfaces like glass, metal, and plastic for up to 9 days. Fortunately, it can be easily eliminated with the use of regular household detergent or alcohol.
COVID-19 seems to trigger an over-reactive immune response in the lungs. The cells in the lungs detect an invader and start to produce a huge amount of white blood cells and pus. The pus builds up in the lungs and plugs the tubes which move air into the lungs.
It’s still not fully understood what causes this over-production of white blood cells. Regardless of the reason, many people die because their immune systems are simply unable to cope with this onslaught.
To reduce the chances of our senior loved ones contracting COVID-19, we need to establish weekly and daily sanitation routines.
Some good news now, though: you can implement some simple measures in the home to keep your senior loved ones safe.
Any germs or viruses are easily eliminated with the use of regular soap or cleaning detergent. The main thing is to target those areas that are touched most frequently. These include:
Clean all the above items by wiping down at least once a day, ideally twice.
To sanitize these objects, you can use:
To clean, take a cloth or alcohol wipe and thoroughly rub any areas you regularly touch.
Don’t just give it a quick once-over either. Rub each item thoroughly for a few seconds.
Ensure that you throw away used dishcloths and replace them regularly, too. Use fresh towels daily if this is practical.
Some research suggests that sunlight effectively kills germs and viruses.
While not a guarantee, consider hanging items outside. When you come home after shopping or visiting the pharmacy, leave your shoes upside down in sunlight.
The World Health Organization says that coronavirus can live on plastic, metal, and glass for up to 72 hours. This means that plastic bags could potentially spread the virus into the home.
When shopping, use a fabric bag instead. If you must use plastic bags, try not to leave them on kitchen countertops.
Germs and viruses may be spread on products bought at the supermarket. Consider wiping down tins and plastic packaging before putting them away.
It’s also worth soaking fruit and vegetables before popping them in the fridge.
The World Health Organization has guidelines on washing bed linen and clothes to prevent the spread of viruses:
Once you develop a daily and weekly routine, keeping your home clean and free from germs is really not so hard. Keep a good supply of detergents, cloths, and alcohol wipes on hand. Also, wash your hands thoroughly after going outdoors and be mindful of what you touch. Keeping things clean is a small but crucial step.